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In Profile: The Right Fit

Andrew Stone injects a passion that translates to production success for Tulsa's Church on the Move.

By M. Erik Matlock June 8, 2016

Andrew Stone at front of house at COTM in Tulsa.

Church on the Move (COTM) in Tulsa is the home to Pastor Willie George, a passionate minister who was first introduced to me through a series of videos that my oldest daughter watched in children’s church. That was over 20 years ago, and COTM has since grown into one of the most respected and well-known churches in America.

At the helm of the church’s seven-day-a-week schedule, assuming responsibility for all aspects of live production, is another person I’ve found to be equally passionate about his mission: Andrew Stone.

He claims to have never even held a “real job,” only audio and production gigs ranging from touring engineer to consultant, and his present position bears the title of production manager for the 300-acre campus with 18 staff member schedules to manage in his department alone.

A Long Road
Originally a drummer who toured internationally with the Oral Roberts University ministry teams, Stone eventually transitioned to the other end of the snake. His skills and passion landed him at the front of house position for a diverse range of bands, both Christian and secular – Third Day, Kitaro, and Psychedelic Furs, to name a few.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, but at that time residing in the Nashville area, he was contacted by an old friend from the ORU touring days, seeking a recommendation. “The church needed help in production,” Stone explains, “and basically wanted to know if I knew anyone who might be a fit for them.”

After he met with the church staff and spent a week consulting on production changes and improvements, they had a different question: Are you the guy? The timing seemed ordained. He and his wife Natasha were in the process of contemplating the future and whether or not touring was to be their life, as well as thinking about returning to Oklahoma to be closer to family.

Without knowing it at the time, their lives were about to make a drastic change, with Stone re-positioned directly in the path of a new career in church production. He took on the new role at COTM.

Focus On Work & Home
He also operates Rock Productions to provide freelance production services, and in addition, is involved in helping other churches to achieve a more professional level, working with partners Lee Fields and Jeff Sandstrom on MxU (mxu.rocks), which travels the country training church technicians on the latest technology and techniques.

“What we began to notice,” he says, “was that with many of the church technical conferences, a lot of people who were attending still didn’t feel secure about what they were doing. So in creating and providing the type of training sessions that we wanted to attend, we make sure that everyone leaves with something that makes them more confident.”

Stone staying busy in the midst of one of COTM’s production-heavy services.

Stone also contributes to COTM’s Seeds ministry which makes useful tools and techniques available to assist other growing churches.

He places a heavy emphasis on training his team as well as others, joined by an intense passion for taking personal matters as seriously as his ministry life.

“One of the biggest challenges for me is the fact that I really enjoy what I do, and I’m also surrounded by a team that feels the same way,” he says. “Part of my job, in scheduling these folks, is making sure they’re taking time off and focusing on their home life; literally making them go home sometimes.

“Taking a day of rest is still one of the Ten Commandments,” he continues. “We have protect ourselves from burnout by separating ourselves from our work and resting. If we fail to follow that simple rule, it affects everything including our families and home life.”


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About M. Erik

M. Erik Matlock
M. Erik Matlock

Senior Editor, ProSoundWeb
     
Erik worked in a wide range of roles in pro audio for more than 20 years in a dynamic career that encompasses system design and engineering in the live, install and recording markets. He also spent several years as a production staff member and team leader for the largest non-denominational church in central Georgia, and served as an author for several leading industry publications before joining the PSW team.
http://erikmatlock.com

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